Understanding the Home Buying Process

Posted by Justin Havre on Monday, June 24th, 2019 at 12:23pm.

Basic Steps of the Home Buying ProcessDipping a toe into the real estate market can be both exciting and terrifying for a new buyer. What is the process of buying a home? Each step may be more detailed than the last, but this post is here to help with things to know before buying a house, from choosing a neighbourhood to getting a mortgage.

Buying a Home in Calgary, Alberta Canada

Alberta Canada is a beautiful place to call home. There are so many things to do there, and the beauty of nature will surround you, as well. The natural beauty is a big part of the area, which draws many people there every year. If you like to do activities outside, like hiking and biking, you can certainly do that in Canada during the warmer months. When the weather gets cold, you'll be able to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other activities that rely on the cold and the snow. That lets you stay active all year long.

When you want to live in Calgary, you have options. You can find a modestly priced home you'll really love, or you can get something that's highly upscale and full of elegance. With prices that rise up into the millions, you'll be able to get an estate with a lot of land. You can also find a large house on a smaller lot, if that's what you're looking for. Having choices is a great thing, especially when you're planning on buying a house that you're going to make into a home for you and your family.

Location is very important, so make sure to consider that when you're choosing a place for your home. Whether you buy an existing house or you find a great piece of land and build something that's perfect for you, it's possible to be close to all the things that matter to you. It's not just outdoor activities, either. There's plenty of shopping and dining to hold your interest. You'll also be able to find museums, theaters, concerts, and community events close by, so you can visit the kinds of things that matter to you no matter what time of the year it is.

Figure Out Costs and Set a Budget

If you're wondering how to start the home buying process, one of the first things that home buyers need to do is consider costs and set a budget. The price of a home can vary significantly from location to location, with big, expensive cities like Vancouver and Toronto skewing the national average. Home buyers may not need to have a 20 percent down payment to get a mortgage. There are mortgage options for people who can put as little as 5 percent down, depending on the size of the loan and other factors. Buyers should attempt to secure mortgage preapproval before they start shopping, as this will give them a very clear idea of what they can reasonably afford.

Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage

If you want true buying power, get a pre-approved mortgage amount before you start looking. This should be one of the first things you do and it will make a huge difference when you submit your offer. Sometimes sellers will actually take a lower offer because of a pre-approval.

Identify Professionals to Help

Another important task for buyers is identifying and engaging the services of various professionals. Buying a house for the first time can be confusing, and it really is a big investment. A lawyer can ensure that they are following all the steps correctly. A real estate agent can negotiate terms in the buyer's interest.

Create a Need/Want List

There's a big difference between something you need for your family and something you want. For example, a four-bedroom home could be a need, if you have a larger family, while a swimming pool is a want. Make sure you create a list of both so that you can remain open-minded without giving up the things you truly need in a home.

Consider Pricing Realistically

The pre-approval will certainly help with this, but you must be realistic about what you can afford. You don't want to end up in a home that doesn't allow you any room in your monthly budget for anything else. This just isn't smart.

Find a Home You Like

Searching for and finding a home or condo in Calgary may be exciting, but it is also one of the most time-consuming parts of the buying process. Home buyers, particularly if they are buying a home together, should invest effort into determining what they want from a home, including:

  • size
  • number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • available amenities
  • neighbourhood
  • proximity to shopping, dining, and entertainment

If people have all these preferences sorted out before they start looking, they can avoid wasting any time visiting properties that do not meet their needs.

Make a Purchase Offer

Once buyers have chosen a home that they would like to buy, they engage their real estate agent to help make a purchase offer on their behalf. Purchase offers are legal documents that, once agreed upon by the seller, create a formal contract for the sale. The purchase offer should include:

  • how much the buyer offers to pay
  • an earnest money deposit
  • any home buying contingencies the buyer must satisfy before closing the sale
  • deadlines for each step of the process

The seller, with input from their agent, can accept or reject the offer, or make a counter-offer. In the instance of a competitive real estate market, it may result in a homebuyer needing to offer more concessions than anticipated.

Complete the Home Buying Process

Once the offer is accepted, the buyer only needs to resolve each contingency and complete the sale. These last parts of the buying process may include a home inspection, obtaining a title report, finalizing all mortgage paperwork, and then signing documents to transfer ownership. But how long is the home buying process when you get to this point? Although this part may seem fairly simple, it can take the longest. Buyers may need as long as two months to check every item off the list. Some Coventry Hills home purchases could take less time, but it depends on the number of contingencies, and how difficult they may be to finish.

Buying a home is one of the most complicated things that a person will do in their lifetime. With a better understanding of each step of the home buying process, buyers know what they will have to do in order to buy real estate and take ownership of the home they want.

Justin Havre is the top producing REALTOR® with RE/MAX First, Canada's very first RE/MAX brokerage. Calgary real estate is his passion; Justin specializes in Southwest & Northwest Calgary homes for sale. He can be reached at 403.217.0003 or contacted through this site.

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